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Water task force to hold final meeting Tuesday

Here for Task Force webpage

The Klamath Basin Task Force is scheduled to hold its final meeting at Oregon Institute of Technology, Dec. 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Mazama-Mount Scott room.

The task force, appointed by Sen. Ron Wyden, held its first meeting in July. Its last meeting, scheduled for Oct. 10, was delayed because of the government shutdown.

“At this meeting, we will discuss and review what I hope will be the final draft reports and recommendations to the Task Force conveners,” Richard Whitman, Gov.Kitzhaber’s Natural Resources Policy Advisor, wrote in an email to the group.

Bob Gravely, spokesman for Pacificorp, said the goal of the meeting is to finalize the groundwork that will allow the Senate’s Natural Resources Committee to start drafting and moving legislation through Congress.

“The hope is that the three subgroups that were formed will be able to report on findings and offer recommendations,” he said.

According to Gravely, the group was tasked with identifying solutions for three areas of concern: reaching an upper Basin water settlement between Klamath Tribes and off-project irrigators, reducing agreement costs for the federal government and reducing power costs to Klamath irrigators.

Becky Hyde, a rancher and member of the Upper Klamath Water Users Association, said the water group is working diligently and in good faith to reach solutions. She was unable to comment on whether the subgroup will be able discuss topics at the meeting that have been restricted due to a confidentiality agreement between water users and Klamath Tribes.

At a Sept. 20 press conference, representatives from several stakeholder groups spoke amicably about the progress the task force had made toward reaching legislative agreements that will meet each groups needs.




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